Today's media round-up

7th May 2013

Today's media round-up focuses on tonight's Premier League fixture at Wigan.
Leon Britton talks about going up against the side led by his former room-mate, while Roberto Martinez has told his Wigan side they can't afford to relax even if they do ease their relegation worries with a win tonight.
And finally, Michael Laudrup looks ahead to the game as his side look to end their seven-match winless run.


Wales Online
Swans star Britton aiming to pile misery on former room-mate at Wigan


Roberto Martinez and Leon Britton lead the celebrations after Swansea survived in 2003 Roberto Martinez and Leon Britton lead the celebrations after Swansea survived in 2003

Leon Britton has paid tribute to the achievements of Roberto Martinez - but is still ready to pile the pressure on the future of his old Swansea City roommate.

Britton shared a room and plenty of successes with Martinez during their days at the Swans, last week's anniversary of that Hull game bringing into sharp focus what the Catalan did for the club.

And that was even before his two-year managerial tenure that first brought the continental playing style to the Liberty that has underpinned the rise since his 2009 exit.

His time at Wigan has further enhanced Martinez's reputation as a coach of note and of stubborn faith in his football philosophy, one that has seen the Latics play their way out of danger over the last few years.

And it's also seen him guide Wigan to a first ever FA Cup final, which they will focus on following tonight's visit of Swansea.

Yet, while Wigan's win over West Brom at the weekend suggested it could be another successful late, late survival show from the Latics, the job is far from done yet.

And a victory for Swansea - much needed after a seven-game winless spell - would give real doubts about their drop- defying ability just before their big Wembley outing on Saturday.

Laudrup's men suggested they are ready to step up and claim an overdue three points with the way they performed in the weekend draw with Manchester City.

And for all Martinez's significance to Swansea, Britton knows that will not matter one bit tonight.

"With anniversary of Hull I think it's underlined the impact he had on this football club before he even became manager here," said long-serving midfielder Britton.

"As a player he was a massive part of that season coming in with experience and steadying the ship, and then obviously going on to achieve what he did as manager here.

"So it will be strange going there to try and win given what it could mean for him.

"It's not just Roberto but people like (assistant) Graeme Jones, (physio) Richie Evans, (coach) Dennis Lawrence and even Jordi Gomez.

"There are a lot of ties to here, so it will be strange if we got a result that knocked them back in their bid to stay up.

"But we're professionals, we have our own aims and we want a win after the run we've had."

As Swansea need to bolster hopes of staying in the top 10, Wigan's aims are simply to stay in the top 17, something they gave themselves a chance of doing in winning 3-2 at West Brom.


Independent
Martinez: We must not relax if we win against Swansea


Roberto Martinez has warned his Wigan players to temper their emotion even if they move out of the bottom three in the Premier League with victory over Swansea City on Tuesday night.

The psychological boost of moving into a position of safety would be a huge fillip for his side, with the FA Cup final sandwiched in between another incredible late effort to stay out of the Championship.

Martinez, who takes charge of his 150th Premier League game tonight at the DW Stadium, however, believes Wigan, who are third from bottom, should not get carried away if they are out of danger tonight.

"Being out of the bottom three on Tuesday night, that's not going to have a major say on where we end the season," he said. "I think what's important is that we get as close as we can to the 39-40 points, that's our target. If you win against Swansea and lose the next two games, you're not going to achieve the aim of staying in this league.

"It doesn't matter if you're out of the bottom three or not. I think what's important is that we carry on performing in the manner that we did against West BromwichAlbion where they won 3-3 on Saturday] and with that mentality and make sure we get as many of the nine points that are left.

"Wherever we are in the table when we go to play the final doesn't matter. It's an incredible number. One hundred and fifty games in the Barclays Premier League at Wigan, well, there are not many managers who have done it, put it that way!

"It's an incredible thing at 39 to have that honour and privilege. It's something to be very satisfied about but football is not about managers or landmarks, it's about reaching our aims in the league. I want to have more games in the Barclays Premier League next season with Wigan."

South Wales Evening Post
Win incentive for latecomers Latics


There is a school of thought that if Wigan Athletic lose only one game this week, Swansea City would rather it was on Saturday.

That may seem an unusual take given that Swansea face the Latics tonight and it is Manchester City who tackle Roberto Martinez's team at the weekend.

But the reality is that a City success in Saturday's FA Cup final would come with more significant consequences for Michael Laudrup than a victory for his team at the DW Stadium tonight.

Because if Roberto Mancini's men win the cup, Swansea will only need to get through one play-off tie - in the final week of August - to progress to next season's Europa League group stages.

But if Wigan cause a shock at Wembley, they will be the ones entering the Europa League at the last qualifying stage.

Swansea, meanwhile, would have to kick off their European campaign in the previous round.

That would mean having to get through a pair of two-legged ties to reach the pool stage, which is Laudrup's first target when it comes to Swansea's Continental adventure.

It would also see Swansea's European campaign beginning as early as August 1, so it is safe to assume that Laudrup will be backing City come next Saturday evening.

Ideally, of course, Laudrup will want Wigan to lose tonight as well.

Swansea's winless run stands at seven games after last Saturday's goalless draw with City and, with a trip to Manchester United ahead next Sunday, tonight looks like their best opportunity of ending the disappointing sequence this week. Not for the first time since victory over Newcastle took them to 40 points back on March 2, the first challenge for Swansea's players this evening will be to match the motivation of their opponents.

Wigan's first ever major final is only four days away, but there is no doubt about which game is their biggest this week - and it will not be played under an arch.

Martinez's men chalked up a critical result last weekend, twice coming from behind at West Brom before Callum McManaman's late goal clinched a pulsating 3-2 victory.

Yet even after that rousing success Wigan remain in the bottom three, and there is still work to do if they are to pull off yet another late-season escape from relegation danger.

Swansea are well aware, therefore, that they must be prepared to scrap tonight.

"This will be a hard game for us," says Laudrup.

"Wigan have the cup final at the weekend, but we are talking about their football life in the Premier League.

"They will look at the fixtures like any club.

"They have two games left at home (the other is against Aston Villa on the final day of the season) and a game at Arsenal straight after the cup final.

"I think they will know it be hard to get anything from Arsenal.

"Roberto Martinez will be making his numbers up. He will be counting on six points from the two home games and they will hope that is enough. What we know for sure is that they will come with all they have against us."